Create an Impact with All the Right People at Your Next Trade Show
If you’ve been to a trade show, you’ll know that they can be something of a labyrinth that everyone is trying to navigate in their own way. There’s booth after booth, buzzwords galore and you’ll collect a thousand business cards that need to be sorted and emailed once you get back to work. Often, you’ll email those people without a clue who they are, and you never get a response anyway. So, how do you make sure that you are meeting the relevant people and that you make a lasting impression for them?
How to Create an Eye-Catching Booth
Your booth is where you’re going to attract most people. It needs to be eye-catching and memorable for all the right reasons. It must stand out from the rows of other businesses all trying to do the same thing. It may seem like an indominable task but there is an art to it.
Don’t Overbook Space
How much space do you need and how can you fill it the most effectively? Bigger is not always better. If you don’t need the biggest booth area there is, don’t book it – you’ll not only save yourself a lot of money but you’ll also not have to worry about all the empty space.
Think about your colors and layout. You want it to draw in attention but you don’t want it to look garish. Match it with your company logo, think of connotations people might have when they see it, for example, does the pattern draw attention away from the information? These are all points to consider and will make a difference as to whether people remember you or not.
Think about how long your meetings will be – if they’re going to be long discussions, then a seating area would be a great addition (you don’t need to go over the top with ten sofas, though, if you’re only going to be having one or two meetings at a time). Your booth should look busy but not crowded.
According to Mary Lewis, a managing director at Last Minute Writing and Researchpapersuk, “Experience is key to your booth, but it also needs to be relevant. There’s no point setting up a video game tournament if your business is baking cupcakes. The experience people have at your booth will help you to attract the right people who are going to be interested in working with you.”
People enjoy activities where they can do something different, something fun and something engaging that should lead them nicely into a conversation with you. Hook them in and then start your pitch once you have their attention.
Picking the right words to market your business can be a challenge, especially if you’re in a highly competitive industry. In order to be memorable, it’s important to use your own imagination, so don’t be afraid to be different. Buzzwords can be catchy but when every booth says that they’re a “market-leader,” who is your audience meant to believe? Think of something catchy and creative, and use humor and wit to grab attention.
Be Remembered for the Right Reasons
Booth babes are a big NO!
Is there anything more cringe-worthy than a business who has resorted to decorating with booth babes? They’re never going to draw in the right customers and they’re not going to help your cause. “There are many interesting things about your business, use them, display them, don’t be the cringe booth!” says James Sheehan, PR manager at Dreaftbeyond and Writinity.
It’s no lie that trade shows can be exhausting but stick with it. Every time you sit down and look disengaged, you lose a potential client or meeting. So, get your coffee ready and your comfy shoes on, be energetic but not over the top and be on your feet ready to greet people. Don’t be afraid to make notes during the day either, it’ll make you look more interested. It will also help when you come to email them or call them later. They’ll be more impressed if you remembered their love of football than if you use the generic “Hi, it was good to meet you…”
Perfect Your Pitch
Possibly the most important part of trade shows is your pitch. Before you even book a slot, you need to know what your intention is. Are you there to sell? To create contacts? To increase brand awareness? Whatever your intention is will direct your pitch.
The next thing to remember is that despite the cliché – practice does make perfect. Practice your pitch either at home or with colleagues, hook them in with the opening and explain the key points. Make sure it’s not too long – the people attending the trade show are just as busy as you, so make it short, sweet and leave them begging for more.
Whatever your business is, by following these tips you can ensure that your next trade show is successful. You’ll entice in the relevant contacts and be remembered for all the right reasons.